The ultimate CV dos and don’ts

The ultimate CV dos and don’ts – from the people that know 

As recruitment specialists, genesis IT consultants see a lot of CVs. In fact, when we are advertising for a new role we can find ourselves trawling through hundreds of CVs a day. This means that when it comes to crafting the perfect CV, we know what we’re talking about. 

Lets start with the basics 

A good CV should always include some basic personal information; think name, contact details and education (put this at the top of your CV) as well as career history. 

For each role, list the company (including the industry and a line about who they are and what they do), job title, the time frame that you held the position, your key responsibilities and big achievements as well as the technology that you worked with.

Not sure where to start – review resume examples for your industry.

The don’ts

Don’t forget to edit your CV as you update it. Some candidates have a habit of just adding role after role without going back over previous positions to reduce and refine and to put in past tense. This means that they often read as if they’re still in the position.

Don’t add a photo. At genesis IT we all agree that a photo doesn’t belong on your CV. Save it for your LinkedIn profile. 


Don’t forget to be consistent. Make sure that your CV and your LinkedIn profile has the same information and job history listed.

Don’t try and be someone you’re not. Try and be personable on your CV and be professional, but don’t start talking about yourself in the third person. 

Follow our simple tips to build a standout LinkedIn Profile:

  • Put in the time to make it clear and consistent 
  • Get a custom URL
  • Choose a professional photo
  • Write a headline that is catchy
  • Use your target job descriptions to your advantage
  • Don’t waste the summary space, use this section to sell expertise and knowledge 
  • Be warm and welcoming

The dos

Do include only the most relevant information and put the most important information first.

Do keep your CV under control. The ideal CV should be two to four pages long and if you are a contractor then you can get away with seven. Don’t worry about listing every single project, pay attention to important achievements. Projects more than 10 years ago can be mentioned but don’t include all the detail.

Do take the time to edit your CV before applying for a role. We recommend that you tailor your CV for the role you’ve applied for. This gives you an opportunity to highlight your most relevant experience. And use active language.

Do consider using a CV/Resume template already designed and set out to be easy to read and follow. You simply then fill in your details.

Cover letters

Do take time to write a cover letter. If it reads generic it adds no value, tailor it to the role you are applying for and look for keywords in the job postings that can be used.

Do be mindful of formatting. Use a professional font and only include subheadings and sections you need.

A final word

There is one thing that all our genesis IT consultants agree on… spell check your CV.